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Triple supply chain advantage revealed

GENEVA: The World Economic Forum (WEF) and Accenture have identified 31 practices to help companies achieve what they claim is a "triple supply chain advantage" of increased revenue, a reduction in supply chain costs and added brand value.

In a co-produced study of 25 companies including UPS, Nestlé and SAB Miller, the WEF and Accenture demonstrate how these corporations raised their revenues 5-20 percent; cut supply chain costs by 9-16 percent, increased brand value 15-30 percent, reduced C02 emissions by 13-22 percent and produced a "significant" reduction in company risk.

Accenture"Sustainability must become a higher priority in supply chain management, given the scarcity of natural resources, rising commodity prices and greater consumer expectations for responsible sourcing and production," said Mark Pearson, senior managing director, Accenture Strategy. "This is not about trade-offs; it is about behaving in a socially responsible way that can also deliver a competitive edge."

Wolfgang Lehmacher, head of Supply Chain and Transport, Mobility Industries, World Economic Forum added: ""Part of the difficulty to date has been the decision-making process itself as it relates to sustainability. Our hope is that this report will empower companies to act now and place an emphasis on the maintenance and creation of responsible supply chains."

For the logistics industry, the report suggests companies looking for the "triple advantage" should consider more decentralized distribution networks, smart and green building deployments, and shared network facilities and transport.

The report also provides a roadmap for the value creation of supply chain practices, the prioritizing of sustainability investments and guidance for ethical commerce: "We are in the middle of a paradigm shift. Consumer pressure, fuelled by social media, is driving commercial organizations to do more than pay lip service to the global socio-environmental impact of their supply chains. This is no longer about risk mitigation, even though that is important; it is about a structural change in the way in which companies gain and maintain competitive advantage," the authors conclude.

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